Happy New Year to all our members! We hope you all had a wonderful festive season with family and friends and are surviving the current spell of hot summer weather.
If you’re in the process of planting late summer crops (see ‘What to plant now’, below), make sure you protect your seedlings from the effects of the burning sun by using at least 30% shadecloth. Don’t forget to also provide shade for your tomato vines and other fruiting crops and vegies, keep them well mulched and water either early in the morning or in the cool of the evening after the sun has gone down.
Interestingly, the 2017 Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere took place at 3:28 am on Friday, 22 December – so in some ways this means summer is on the way out. Although the heat we’re experiencing is likely to continue for some months yet, the days will now start to get shorter, which means it’s time to also start planning our autumn and winter crops. Log onto this column every month for details of what to plant, when.
And if you’re looking at planting something different this year, why not come along to our workshop on Growing Asian Vegetables and learn the ins and outs of growing lots of tasty, nutritious vegies such as pak choi, Chinese broccoli and cabbage, mustard greens, watercress, shallots, Chinese celery, Daikon radish, lemongrass and more. The workshop will be held on Friday 23 February at 1.30pm – more details will be distributed soon.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to stay cool yourself! Get your gardening done early in the morning and come indoors when it gets too hot – and if you’re partial to a nice cool beverage when the sun goes over the yardarm, why not try our ultra-refreshing Gin & Cucumber Gimlet in our recipe section under ‘Drinks’, provided by Tucker Patch member Tess Hilleard. It’s a great way of using up excess summer cucumbers too!
Enjoy … and happy gardening!
What to plant now: climbing beans, bush beans, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, leeks, lettuce, spring onions, parsnip, potatoes, radish, rhubarb, silverbeet, sweet corn, turnip and zucchini.